I think he was pretty clear. At least, I understood him. He had areas on his site where people can add sigs or avatars (or something like that) and that area -- like SitePoint and every other forum -- does not require approval by the owner. Some forums allow attachments to posts, and those attachments are not "blocked until manually approved" either. I don't think he's unreasonable or irresponsible for having his site work exactly the same as everyone else's.
The laws don't quite agree with you. Yes, copyright is a valid law and should be enforced. But even DMCA doesn't get that hard-line about it. The DMCA acknowledges that certain content providers may have more data coming in than can be manually verified. So it provides a "takedown notice" system, where the copyright holder has to inform the admin and give him 10 days to work it out with the person who posted the material. If the material comes down, I believe the DMCA says you're protected from harm. If Getty isn't following the procedure outline by law, I'm not sure anyone is obligated to pay their extortion money.
Most normal humans view a large, photo-heavy site in small chunks. I've never viewed every image hosted by sxc.hu, for example. A bot will suck down the entire site in one session, which can be a shocking burden.